This portfolio is a collection of little companies listed on the LSE that I like but that are too small or too bubbly or otherwise unfit for my main Obliquity London portfolio. It’s also a real money portfolio.

Selection criteria

The selection criteria are a variation of the main Obliquity principles, but adapted to quirky small caps. Holdings should pass 4 out of the following:

  • Owner business
  • Takeover potential
  • The CEO wallet test
  • The bank manager test
  • £1 million minimum profit

They are described in more detail in a blog post.

Blue sky

A few “blue sky” stocks are allowed to break some of the criteria above if they look valued at a distressed price to success, that is if their plan succeeding implies a valuation at several multiples of current value, like an out-of-the-money call option.

In general blue sky and story stocks, like call options, are not a good deal because people tend to overpay for the promise of a big gain, but on occasion there are cases where I believe the odds are better.

Blue sky position are shown in bold in the holdings list. If I find enough of these, I might spin them off into a separate portfolio.

Current holdings

I’m just listing the holdings because publishing detailed records is a hassle with my current manual system. The portfolio is broadly equal weighted with a trading lot equal to the median holding size on the date of entry.

Company LSE Code What they do Entry date
Low and Bonar LWB Fabric and materials 2012-09-27
Begbies Traynor BEG Insolvency practitioners 2013-02-08
Elektron Technology EKT Electronic components maker 2013-02-04
T Clarke CTO Electrical contractor 2013-05-13
PhotonStar LED PSL Led lighting devices 2013-06-28
Surgical Innovations SUN Keyhole surgery kit 2013-08-19
Seeing Machines SEE Face recognition widgets 2013-09-04
Frontier Smart Tech (nee Toumaz) TMZ Digital radio and healthcare sensors 2014-01-29
Cambridge Cognition COG Mental health software 2014-03-05
Touchstar (nee Belgravium) TST (BVM) Point of sales solutions 2014-03-13
Braemar Shipping Services BMS Shipping services 2014-03-19
Kromek KMK Radiation detection tech 2014-04-03
Space and People SAL Shopping centre kiosks 2014-04-29
TyraTech TYR Novel insecticide 2014-08-05
Acal ACL Industrial electronics 2014-11-13
Produce Investments PIL Potato growing 2015-07-15
Aukett Swanke AUK Architects 2015-08-26
Creightons CRL Toiletries 2016-01-13
Titon Holdings TON Window fittings 2016-05-24
Scientific Digital Imaging SDI Scientific instruments 2016-08-01
Elecosoft ELCO Architecture software 2016-08-11
PV Crystalox Solar PVCS Solar panel supplies (+ arbitration) 2016-08-30
Airea AIEA Carpet manufacture 2016-10-26
Tracsis TRCS Rail management software 2017-05-15
Oxford Metrics OMG Infrastructure asset management 2017-05-15
GAME Digital GMD Video games retail and events 2017-05-15
SQS Software Quality Systems SQS Software consulting 2017-05-17
Walker Greenbank WGB Interior furnishings 2017-06-08

Reweightings

This is positions that have been added to, or trimmed down, typically to put them back to entry weight by selling half when they double.

The percentage traded is expressed in number of shares, relative to the existing holding.

Company LSE Code Date % traded
GW Pharmaceuticals GWP 2013-10-08 -50%
Elektron Technology EKT 2013-12-17 +67%
Seeing Machines SEE 2014-02-28 +117% (placing @ 5p)
Elektron Technology EKT 2014-04-11 +100%
Elektron Technology EKT 2014-07-18 +16% (placing @ 5p)
Surgical Innovations SUN 2014-10-02 +100%
PhotonStar LED PSL 2014-10-29 +100%
Tyratech TYR 2014-12-04 +100%
Surgical Innovations SUN 2015-04-13 +100%
Tungsten TUNG 2015-05-21 +200%
Ascent Resources AST 2015-06-24 +430%
DX Group DX. 2015-11-13 +200%
Ascent Resources AST 2015-11-24 +240%
Toumaz TMZ 2015-12-17 +100%
DX Group DX. 2016-01-20 +100%
Ascent Resources AST 2016-03-31 -50%
Falkland Islands Holdings FKL 2016-04-14 +113%
Snoozebox ZZZ 2016-04-29 +100%
Ascent Resources AST 2016-06-02 +140%
Cambridge Cognition COG 2016-06-06 +115%
Space and People SAL 2016-09-16 +100%
Kromek KMK 2017-02-13 +29%
Tyratech TYR 2017-04-27 +206%
Aukett Swanke AUK 2017-04-27 +135%
Braemar Shipping Services BMS 2017-07-12 +113%
PhotonStar PSL 2017-10-17 +407%

Past holdings

Company LSE Code What they do Entry Exit date
Micro Focus MCRO Software (Cobol!) 2012-08-31 2013-09-10
API Group API Retail product boxes 2013-01-25 2013-10-18
Avanti Communications AVN Satellite phone and internet 2013-02-26 2013-11-08
Bodycote BOY Thermal processing 2012-08-13 2014-01-08
GW Pharmaceuticals GWP Cannabis-based meds 2012-12-31 2014-02-26
XP Power XPP Power supplies 2012-09-28 2014-04-03
Wolfson Microelectronics WLF Audio chips 2013-10-07 2014-09-04 (takeover)
DP World DPW Container ports 2012-08-13 2014-10-14
Sweett Group CSG Construction and surveying consultancy 2013-10-25 2014-11-07
Optos OPTS Ophthalmology equipment 2013-05-22 2015-03-03 (takeover)
Ceramic Fuel Cells CFU Combined heat and power fuel cells 2014-12-02 2015-04-07 (bankruptcy)
Ted Baker TED Posh clothes 2012-09-28 2015-04-13
Anite AIE Travel software and telecom testing 2013-10-18 2015-06-19 (takeover)
Latchways LTC Anti-fall devices 2014-01-13 2015-10-22 (takeover)
Kingspan KGP Building tech 2012-09-28 2015-10-23 (to main portfolio)
Tungsten TUNG Invoice processing and factoring 2015-01-15 2015-12-17
Greene King GNK Beer and pubs 2012-08-29 2016-02-02
Interbulk INB Containerised tanks and dry bulk 2013-11-12 2016-03-22 (takeover)
Fox Marble FOX Marble quarries in Kosovo 2014-05-29 2016-06-09
Panmure Gordon PMR Brokers 2015-10-02 2016-06-30
Minoan MIN Crete development and travel agency 2013-08-07 2016-08-01
AMD AMD (US) Microchip design 2015-04-15 2016-08-02
Lifeline scientific LSI Organ transplant transport kit 2014-10-14 2016-12-15 (takeover)
Ascent Resources AST Slovenian gas 2013-11-01 2017-01-10
DX Group DX. Niche logistics 2015-02-15 2017-02-08
Falkland Islands Holdings FKL Art services and Falklands shovels 2013-06-12 2017-05-22
Snoozebox ZZZ Portable hotels 2016-04-25 2017-11-09 (bankruptcy)

For completeness, note this portfolio started life as a “special situations” portfolio, with some large caps that dropped off the selection process of the main portfolio and were not so suitable for buy-and-hold long term, but then was now refocused. The two such large/mid cap positions, ARM and Invensys, were sold at a comfortable profit.

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